WHAT IS PULSED RADIOFREQUENCY?
Pulsed radiofrequency is pain management technique used that creates a carefully controlled electrical field around a needle. The needles is placed near nerves that are carrying pain signals, with the aim of gently heating the nerves, which can reduce the pain signals and help control chronic pain. The heat treatment in pulsed radiofrequency doesn’t destroy the nerves, but it can change the way nerves functions and reduce pain. This practice has been used since the 1990’s in pain management.
WHAT TYPES OF PAIN CAN PULSED RADIOFREQUENCY IT BE USED TO TREAT?
The more common pain that pulsed radiofrequency can be used to treat include:
- Back pain
- Lumbar disc pain
- Radicular pain, which is pain that can run don the arm or leg or even chest wall
- Facial pain like trigeminal neuralgia
- Inguinal pain, which is pain following hernia surgeries
- Groin pain or testicular pain
- Joint pain from the sacroiliac joint or shoulder joint
HOW SUCCESSFUL IS THIS THERAPY?
In carefully performed research projects, the success rates have been as high as 70-80% and the therapy has lasted for between 4 and 24 months. This treatment doesn’t help everyone with chronic pain but it can be a very useful treatment especially when combined with other forms of pain management like medications and physical therapies.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF THIS TREATMENT?
Complications are generally mild and can include, pain, bleeding, infection, and short-term, or no pain reduction. Because this treatment does not cauterise any nerves or generate high temperatures, it is considered a fairly safe procedure but in each case the benefits should be considered against the risks. So ask your pain specialist about this treatment.
WHERE CAN I READ MORE ON PULSED RADIOFREQUENCY?
If you have any questions, just ask.